What is a Chronological Resume Format?

Man interviewing another man with resume in hand
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What is a chronological resume, and when should you use this type of resume? A chronological resume is one of the most common resume formats

Employers Typically Prefer Chronological Resumes

A chronological resume starts by listing your work history, with the most recent positions listed first. It is considered one of the most common resume structures. Employers typically prefer this type of resume because it's easy to see what jobs you have held and when you have worked at them.

In this type of resume your jobs are listed in reverse chronological order with your current, or most recent job, first. It often includes a resume objective or career summary before a list of previous work experience. Education, certifications, and special skills are also included on this type of resume. These are listed after your work experience.

The Benefits of a Chronological Resume

The chronological resume is one of the most common resume types. Therefore, one benefit of using this type is that most employers will be familiar with it, and will prefer it.

The chronological resume also emphasizes your work history, so it allows you to show off your work experience. It's easier to compile a chronological resume than some other resume formats because you are listing your employment and internship experience in order, with your current experience first.

When You Should Use a Chronological Resume

A chronological resume works best when you have an extensive work history that is in the same line of work as the job for which you are applying.

By displaying your work history front and center, you immediately show the employer that you have related experience.

When You Should Avoid Using a Chronological Resume

The chronological resume format does not work well when you are changing careers. While you might have a lot of work experience, it is likely in a different industry.

Many employers will put your resume in the “no” pile if they quickly see you do not have relevant work experience.

Finally, do not use a chronological resume if you have gaps in your work history, or have frequently changed jobs. A chronological resume will only emphasize these issues.

Other Types of Resumes

Depending on your work history, you might want to choose another type of resume. A functional resume, for example, focuses on your skills and experience rather than your chronological work history. A combination resume lists both your skills and your chronological work history. For more creative positions, you might want to use a nontraditional resume that includes graphics and other visuals.

How You Should Get Started

Designing a resume from scratch can be time-consuming and difficult. Consider using a template or example to help you. Templates help you create a layout for your document, and show you what elements to include.

Resume examples can help you see what kind of content you should include in your document. They can also give you ideas on the type of language you want to use. For example, a sample resume might show you the kind of action words you should include in your own resume.

However, remember never to simply copy a resume example. Your resume should fit your individual work history and the requirements of the job for which you are applying.

Chronological Resume Example

Amy L. Charnell
336 W. Chugalug Way, Wheaton, MA  60187
c: 444-222-4333 e: alcharnell@gmail.com


December 20XX - Present
Administrative Coordinator
Mannix Services, Naperville, IL

  • Responsible for analysis of monthly, weekly, and, daily sales reports. Achieved 100% accuracy in sales reports in past two years.
  • Responsible for scheduling training classes, seminars, and conferences.

June 20XX - December 20XX
Administrative Secretary
Minnesota Life Insurance, Barrington, IL

  • Research and design sales and training presentations, requiring fluency in PowerPoint, SlideShark, and Prezi.
  • Responsible for scheduling a three-person sales and training staff.

March 20XX - June 20XX
Facilities Assistant
SBC Warburg Dillon Reed, Chicago, IL

  • Responsible for balancing a $7 million dollar facilities budget.
  • Responsible for scheduling maintenance calls, staff meetings, office relocations, and construction projects.

May 20XX - May 20XX
General Manager
KSMR Radio 92.5/94.3FM, Winona, MN

  • In charge of a 36-member staff, as well as a 7-member management team, with duties that included disciplinary actions, budgeting, special requests, program scheduling, and hiring.
  • Balanced a $15,000 budget, as well as chaired a committee to receive a grant for increasing station amenities such as wattage, equipment, space, and music library.

May 20XX - May 20XX
Sports Director
KSMR Radio 92.5/94.3FM, Winona, MN

  • Responsible for a 30 member broadcast staff, with standard duties that included scheduling daily on-air sports reports, scheduling all on-air game broadcasts, maintaining all broadcast equipment, training broadcast team, and making travel arrangements for broadcast team.
  • Responsible for a weekly sports talk show, with duties that include scheduling guests, doing background research, and running the production board.


St. Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN

  • B.A., Public Relations